British Berkefeld and Big Berkey: The Difference between the Black and the White Ceramic Filters

British Berkefeld and Big Berkey: The Difference between the Black and the White Ceramic Filters

Do you have a Big Berkey water system and are pondering about the difference between the White filter element and the Black filter element, both of which are accessible today?

Or are you considering purchasing a Berkey water filter and seeing some of them with white ceramic filter elements while others with "Black Berkey" purification elements?

Have you ever wondered the difference between Berkey’s white and black filter? Which is better for your needs? Let’s talk about these two by their history, similarities, and difference to provide you with better choices to ease your doubts about the water you and your family drink every day.

History of Black Berkey and White Ceramic Filter Elements

Everything has its tale of history, even the black and white water filters we use every day to keep our water at home safe and sound.

Way back in the early 1800s when London had a huge problem with deprivation of safe water due to pathogenic bacteria that contaminated the Thames River. Raw sewage was the cause of this water contamination. This huge problem put England's citizens’ health in danger. Epidemic diseases like Cholera, typhoid fever, and diarrhea spread across England. This pandemic situation alarmed Queen Elizabeth, the most powerful lady in England during that period.

Until Henry Doulton invented and developed ceramic filters commonly known as Super Sterasyl Filters or white filters. These filters were able to remove dangerous microorganisms such as bacteria and have the capability of self-sterilization. Doulton was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth to make a gravity stone-fed water filter created with the technology of ceramic filter and his talent for pottery, making a water container. 

By the year 1846, with the help of Chadwick and other known reformers, experts opened their eyes. They started a revolution for better water sanitation technology, thanks to Doulton's effort and discovery known of Ceramic Filter that evolved into Super Sterasyl Filters today.

During the year 1846, the collected research and experiments of Louis Pasteur with advanced microbiology were aligned with the continuous development of Doulton's studies to fight tiny microorganisms that brought harmful substances to water. These dangerous pathogenic bacteria may lead to water contamination. 

With the help of Pasteur, Doulton created cartridges that were capable of killing bacteria for more than 90% of effectivity. The following years of series of examinations and explorations to improve water filtration using ceramic water filters were then successful, for it was adopted in hospitals, military, and laboratories. Doulton's water filters were even part of Queen Victoria's left arm during the Kensington International Exhibit by the year 1862.

On the other hand, Black Berkey Filters were discovered by New Millennium Concepts, a US-based company. With the distribution partnership between Berkefeld and NMC, the locals of North America had a chance to purchase the Super Sterasyl Filter.

NMC then developed Black filters and other accessories to make the water is filtered by these equipment 99% clean, so close to perfection. Black Filters are coined as water purifiers for it removes everything that may contaminate our H2O. It purifies, meaning no organic compound or heavy metals evidence will remain in the water once filtered by Black Berkey Filters.

 Today you can buy Berkey water filter systems with either the White ceramic filters or the latest Black Berkey purification elements.

Comparison of the Black Berkey and the White Ceramic Filters

Numerous people frequently ask what the difference is between the Black Berkey water filters and the white Super Sterasyl ceramic filters. This is certainly a good question. The ceramic filters were produced sometime before the Black Berkey purifiers were, so the Black Berkeys have tagged along and enhanced the idea. The two filters will:

  • Expel pathogenic bacteria
  • Expel cysts
  • Decrease organic chemicals
  • Decrease chlorine
  • Decrease sediment and crude

Now, let’s determine how both contrast from each other. Ceramic whiter filters or better known as Super Sterasyl Ceramic Filters, can remove pathogenic bacteria (a disease-causing organism in water) and cyst (a sac-like pocket of tissue from an animal or plant). They can also remove organic chemicals from sewage effluents. White Filters can also reduce Chlorine, a highly chemical water disinfectant, to public water. These ceramic filters can also reduce Turbidity, Sediment, and Particulate.

British Berkefeld and Big Berkey: The Difference between the Black and the White Ceramic Filters

The Ceramic shell of the Super Sterasyl element is an NSF Listed Component and is produced to meet NSF benchmarks 42 and 53 for materials.


  • Intended to meet Filtration Class
  • Have an Absolute filtration rating (characterized as >99.99%), equal to 0.9 microns.
  • Made using 100% natural ceramic elements. They don't add anything to the water being filtered, and the natural, healthy minerals remain.
  • It consists of trace elements of silver, which hinders microbiological development on the filter.
  • Evaluated for 600 gallons or when cleaning is inadequate. It can last up to a half-year life expectancy.

They can remove: 

  • Pathogenic Bacteria such as E-coli, Salmonella, Legionella, Cholera, Salmonella Typhi (Typhoid), Shigella, Klebsiella: >99.99%
  • >99.99%; Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and other cysts
  • Chlorine (taste & odour); (2ppm): >96%
  • Turbidity: >98%; Rust, Silt, and dirt
  • Lead; (150ppb) 99.2%

They have a few disadvantages, like:

  • They should be replaced at regular intervals like every six months as the activated carbon inside can create harmful microorganisms once it has achieved the most extreme absorption.
  • They are not as powerful in expelling contaminants as other filter elements available as they are intended to meet the filtration class, not surpass it.
  • They are old innovations. Ceramic filters have been being used for more than 100 years, and they work so well they are still being used today. However, modern technology like the Black Berkey Purification Elements can be more effective.

On the other side, Black Filters can do the overall ability of white filters but with 99% effectivity to remove all possible water contaminants. Black filters take us into a new stage of water purification. According to independent laboratories approved by EPA, here's the catch among other water filters: Black Berkey Filters were proven as the most efficient filter available in our market today. Black Berkey Filters are the most reliable filter compared to other brands when it comes to water purifiers, as mentioned. 

British Berkefeld and Big Berkey: The Difference between the Black and the White Ceramic Filters

It has been tested more than 10,000 times with 100,000 pathogens or more per liter of water. Surprisingly, no evidence of pathogens was seen after it has been filtered by Black Berkey Filters, yes 100% clean! Amazing, isn't it? Black filters can also eliminate food color without removing beneficial minerals that retain our hydration.


  • It intended to exceed the Purification Class. The Black Berkey Purification Elements filter through a greater number of contaminants than elements in the Filtration class which involves White Ceramic Supersterasyl Filtration Elements.
  • Have an Absolute filtration rating (characterized as >99.9999999%), equal to superior to 0.1 microns.
  • Produced using natural coconut husk. They don't add anything to the water being filtered, and the natural, healthy minerals remain.
  • More capable than some other gravity filter element presently accessible.
  • They are called "Purification" elements since they are more capable than filters in the "Filtration" classification and are consequently in the following, a higher level of classification.
  • Evaluated to 3,000 gallons or when cleaning is inefficient. Typically last 3-5 years and frequently more— a few consumers have revealed ten years or more.

They can remove: 

  • Pathogenic Bacteria, for example, E-coli, Salmonella, Legionella, Cholera, Salmonella Typhi (Typhoid), Shigella, Klebsiella >99.9999%
  • Viruses; >99.999%
  • >99.99%; Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and other cysts
  • Chlorine (taste and scent); underneath lab perceivable levels
  • Rust, sediment, and dirt; underneath lab perceivable levels
  • Lead; beneath recognizable lab levels
  • Trihalomethanes - Removed to >99.8%
  • Chromium: 99.9%

They have a few disadvantages, like:

  • Higher cost.
  • Due to the extraordinarily small pore size, they should be “primed” before usage.

Take note of these Super Sterasyl Filters, or the White Filters works on PF-4 to remove Fluoride while Black Filters works with PF-2 eliminating the same chemical element. 

To sum up the similarities and differences of white and black filters, white filters or Super Ceramic Water filter and Black Filter elements are both long-lasting in quality and affordable at the time. In contrast, the Black filter can remove heavy metals, but white filters can only remove pathogenic bacteria and some chemical compounds. 

 A pair of the Black Berkey filters are assessed by the producer to keep going for approximately 6,000 gallons of water. In comparison, a pair of ceramic filters are evaluated to have an estimated life expectancy of 1,000 gallons.

Well, if the best quality of filters is what you are looking for, then there, you have them both. Black and white filters lifespan may take until three years before you have to replace them. Berkey Filters whatever it may be black or white, can be purchased at the most affordable price.

Tip: If you are a traveler and wanted to ensure the safety of the water you consume, choose a white filter. White Filters are durable and made for long trips, camping, and journeys. If you are a mother or a boss who wants to secure no marks of contaminants that would put any harm to your family or employees, well then choose Black Filters.

 How Long Berkey Filters Last?

British Berkefeld and Big Berkey: The Difference between the Black and the White Ceramic Filters

A typical question, "To what extent do my Berkey filters last?” That is an interesting inquiry!

The manufacturer suggests that they should be changed out every 3000 gallons. Along these lines, when you utilize two filters in your system, that implies you should change them out every 6000 gallons. Each filter can deal with 3000 gallons, and since you have two, each is just separating a large portion of the water that goes over your system.

Along these lines, if you utilize four filters, you would alter them out at the 12,000-gallon point. With a Royal Berkey, which holds around 3 gallons, that implies you would change them out after around 4,000 refills (yes, that is a LOT). So, determine how regularly you refill your Berkey and do the match. Once determine that estimated date, we suggest that you record that on a sticker and fasten it to the base of your Berkey (on the dry side, preferably).

Presently, all that being stated, there are a few things you can do to expand the life of your Black Berkey or Super Sterasyl Ceramic filters. For one thing, ensure the water you put into your system is as clean as viable. For tap water, this isn't an issue. In any case, whenever you utilize your system to filter through creek or lake water, we prescribe that you utilize a T-shirt or other fabric as a pre-filter.

 Put the material over the top chamber when you fill it off, and it will filter through the majority of the "big stuff, for example, algae, mud, and so forth. This allows the Berkey filters to concentrate on the little stuff.

Next, when you see your flow rate decrease into the filters, clean your filters utilizing a Scotch Brite pad under running water. This will get a significant part of the particulate of the outside. Be that as it may, you'll never have the capacity to clean within the filter. Thus, when you've done this, and the flow rate does not increase to an adequate level, at that point, you truly realize that the time has come to change the filters. They have too many "pollutants" clogged up in them.


All in all, the two filters are remarkable performers with a long demonstrated reputation and a huge number of satisfied customers. However, the Black Berkey last any longer is more thorough in the variety of contaminants they filter through and have benefit in their capacity to expel a large number of these contaminants to a higher rate.

It's vital to take note that if you officially own the Ceramics and are hoping to address some of these missed contaminants like Lead and MTBE's, the PF-4's will expel this, notwithstanding developing public concerns like Fluoride and Arsenic. Along those same lines, whenever you own or think about buying the Black Berkey and might want to expel Fluoride and Arsenic, picking the PF-2's as an extra will finish this goal.

British Berkefeld and Big Berkey: The Difference between the Black and the White Ceramic Filters

Every household ought to have a "tabletop" water filter intended for day-by-day usage. Water is the most important thought for general preparedness, and we ought not to underestimate that we will dependably have a safe, clean water source.

There are numerous great water filters through there. At one point, there might be some that have owned Big Berkey water filters for a long time. Be that as it may, they remain by them as truly outstanding.

Remember this before picking your filters; it must be Berkey Filters, the most trusted brand for Water Filter System! You can purchase it now and worry no more about your everyday consumption of water. 

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